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AMD is poised to square its next-generation tech against Intel's "Santa Rosa"

AMD is set to launch its upcoming K10 architecture with the Barcelona quad-core server processor.  However, since the ATI acquisition last year, AMD has also focused extensively on its mobile roadmap. 

This May, Intel's Centrino platform will enter its fourth revision with Santa Rosa.  Late last year AMD launched the Kite platform -- 90nm dual-core Turion processors, DDR2-667 and 802.11g wireless.  Kite will undergo a refresh at about the same time as the Intel Santa Rosa platform launch.

The spearhead of this new initiative is the Hawk-family of mobile CPUs.  The first of these new Turion CPUs, dubbed Tyler, is a 65nm SOI DDR2-800 processor that utilizes Socket S1.  Essentially, this processor is Brisbane for the notebook, and does not incorporate any of the new features of the K10/Greyhound architecture.

Following Tyler, a low cost 65nm SOI revision dubbed Sherman will replace the 90nm Mobile Sempron cores.

Although AMD states its upcoming mobile platform is a collaboration between AMD and ATI, ATI's contribution has been in the works for almost two years -- well before the AMD merger.  Earlier this year, AMD leaked details of its Trevally mobile reference design detailing the exact component breakout for next generation Turion notebooks.

At the heart of the 2007 Kite refresh is the RS690T chipset -- a low-power version of the RS690 chipset found on the desktop.  Graphics are provided by a Radeon X700 derivative core; system IO functionality revolves around the SB700 southbridge. 

Trevally's design kit also outlines the use of hybrid hard drives and 802.11n-draft wireless.

AMD guidance specifically details the transition from its 90nm to 65nm, in addition to the advances of the RS690 chipset, will boost Turion notebook battery life from 4 hours to in excess of 5 hours.

In 2008 AMD will reveal its Griffin-family of CPUs.  AMD guidance claims these CPUs are built from the ground up to utilize mobile technology, though the processors have been on AMD's roadmap for more than a year as Greyhound derivatives.  The first of these, Lion, will replace Tyler in the first half of 2008.  The low-cost Sable will replace Sherman on the Sempron platform.

All of the Griffin processors will utilize HyperTransport 3 and 65nm SOI.  A cornerstone of the K10 (previously dubbed K8L) architecture is split power planes -- the CPU can dynamically adjust p-states on individual cores or the integrated northbridge.  Currently no commercial processors can do this sort of power management, which has potential to save big on power consumption.

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By Ard on 3/17/2007 11:28:07 PM , Rating: 2
I don't get why Barcelona is being labeled K10. Barcelona is, fundamentally, a K8 with a number of IPC improvements. It is strictly evolutionary and it's certainly not a new architecture as the K10 moniker would seem to suggest, whereas K8 was largely a number of revolutionary and evolutionary changes over K7. This doesn't even take into account the missing K9, which I'm going to assume represents the X2s.

RE: K10?
By middlehead on 3/17/2007 11:32:17 PM , Rating: 4
This doesn't even take into account the missing K9, which I'm going to assume represents the X2s.

I assume they've skipped it to avoid unflattering 'dog' references.

RE: K10?
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 3/17/2007 11:49:46 PM , Rating: 2
Interestingly enough, inside AMD the engineers codename the project Greyhound.

RE: K10?
By middlehead on 3/18/2007 12:53:32 AM , Rating: 2
Greyhound would be one of the flattering dog references, them being best known as racing dogs, sleek and fast. K9/Canine says one of two things to me: a police dog, which isn't necessarily bad or good, or a big goofy mutt, friendly but not too bright.

RE: K10?
By crystal clear on 3/18/2007 1:16:55 AM , Rating: 1
What about the "BULLDOZER"-anything new on this.

Expect something on this on "Analyst day"

HEY "Viditor" any news from your side on "Analyst day"

RE: K10?
By Cogman on 3/17/2007 11:39:27 PM , Rating: 3
K9 never existed per say. Intel Assigned K8L to the Barcelona architecture (as far as I remember) to avoid the obvious pun on the word canine. It seems daily tech had desided to opt for K10 instead. (unless I missed something and AMD did call it K10)

The anandtech article about the new Barcelona architect seem to suggest some major changes (I mean, they are introducing another Cache Layer, that alone has to take a fair amount of effort to get working correct)

As far as being a completely new architecture, I don't think there has ever truly been such a thing. I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that most tech changes have been based on former technology (or some other companies technology)

RE: K10?
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 3/17/2007 11:48:26 PM , Rating: 2
Couple things:

*K9 and K10 were both canceled AMD projects.
*AMD's Henri Richard continued to call Barcelona K10 for almost 6 months (that's pretty well documented) so it's an AMD thing not an Intel thing.
*Inside AMD, it's called Grayhound
*AMD has been calling it K10 after they canceled the older K10 projects (there was more than one) -- there's a few interviews with Giuseppe Amato floating around where he claims K10 is the new architecture, and K8L was something else ... though it seems pretty obvious this is just face saving as it was called K8L for almost 6 months

RE: K10?
By KernD on 3/18/2007 12:57:54 AM , Rating: 2
Core2 architecture is also just an IPC upgrade over Core1, and Core1 was just a native dual core PentiumM with shared L2 cache, K8 is a widened K7 with a memory controler. They have always done evolution from previous generations, the size of the difference only depends on the time they spent working on it. They just make smaller and faster steps forward and still label them as new architecture. Thats there right...

RE: K10?
By PrezWeezy on 3/19/2007 12:31:42 PM , Rating: 2
That's not entirely true about the Core2. Core was a rushed "out the door" architecture so Intel could secure the Mac contract. Core2 adds on from that allowing 64bit and some other things. It's based not off the pentium M but off of a chip that was developed in Isreal, I think, that was based off of the PIII. It's very similar, but it is truely it's own.

RE: K10?
By 91TTZ on 3/20/2007 1:25:33 PM , Rating: 2
The Pentium M is the chip that you're referring to, which was based on the P3 and was designed in Israel.

RE: K10?
By subhajit on 3/18/2007 3:02:12 AM , Rating: 2
Here is a comprehensive article about Barcelona architecture. Also there is some details about K8L/K10 core names.

RE: K10?
By Spoelie on 3/18/2007 9:22:13 AM , Rating: 2
RE: K10?
By stmok on 3/18/2007 11:07:10 AM , Rating: 2
Firstly Ard , I suggest you watch the AMD presentation at Standford (video) for Computer Science Dept on the K8. K8 is really a souped up K7 with 64bit extensions. The goal is to provide a "transitional CPU" to 64bit. (Gently guide the users and software developers to 64bit, but still have good 32bit performance for backward compatibility reasons).

They did it because they saw how Itanium (a full blown 64bit platform), failed to attain consumer adoption.

Its no different from K8 to K10. (Improving existing design again: more cache, better IPC, improved AMD-V implementation, power saving features, etc).

The method is to continually improve on a proven/existing design. If there is nothing wrong with the existing solution at the fundamental level, why the heck would you radically change it?

The biggest change for AMD is when they moved from K6 to Athlon (K7). Since then, everything else has been largely evolutionary. K7 -> K8 -> K10

Think about it. How is that different from the Pentium Pro, PII, PIII, Pentium-M, Core Solo/Duo and Core 2 Duo/Quad? They're all fundamentally based on the P6. (Pentium Pro). The P6 is a good design that has evolved. Intel tried to replace it with Pentium 4, but they ended up coming back to the P6 solution with the Core series.

BTW, its K10 because AMD said so! :) See video interview.

K8 and then K10. There is no K9. (Woof!)

K8L is the mobile version of the K8 (ie: Turion).

RE: K10?
By Ard on 3/18/2007 2:44:06 PM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure I've watched that presentation awhile back. In any event, I've already conceded that the K8 was largely an evolutionary advancement over the K7, with some revolutionary improvements (on-die memory controller, 64-bit extensions, etc.). However, K10 is purely evolutionary. While Core 2 certainly owes it's existence to the original P6 and it's later progeny, even Ars admits that it is a vastly different beast. The only reason this bothers me is that K10 suggests something "new" and it arguably isn't at this point.

RE: K10?
By nerdye on 3/18/2007 4:22:22 PM , Rating: 2
stmok, I appreciate your post, and praise you for your information and understanding of generations of cpu designs! Many people would include the P4 architecture "netburst" in the current tech within the development of core 2 duo, there's no doubt intel learned from it, yet core 2 is a different beast that lies in other footsteps of their cpu's evolutionary steps.

RE: K10?
By formulav8 on 3/18/2007 5:14:26 PM , Rating: 2
AMD has tweaked 90% of the K8 core for Barcelona. You don't consider upgrading 90% of the cpu core a new architecture? What you would consider a new architecture as being then?


From 4 hours to 5 hours?
By riccoho on 3/17/2007 11:07:22 PM , Rating: 3
Well... the 13.3" S2210 from Fujitsu which utilizes Turion64 X2 can only run for 2.6 hours. It's one of few thin-and-light laptops which use Turion64 X2
At the same time Fujitsu provides S6311, using Core 2 Duo, with the similar form factor and much better (5.5 hours) battery time.

I'm not sure the high power consumption comes from CPU or platform chipset. But anyway, both are now AMD products and I think AMD needs to focus more on power saving technique if they want to compete with Intel in mobile platform.

RE: From 4 hours to 5 hours?
By Shark Tek on 3/17/2007 11:15:39 PM , Rating: 2
My HP Turion64 Lance Armstron Edition notebook can last up to 4.5 - 5 hours on battery.

I forgot, using a 12cell battery :P.

RE: From 4 hours to 5 hours?
By Johnmcl7 on 3/18/2007 3:22:04 PM , Rating: 2
My little Pentium-m 1.1Ghz can chug along for well over ten hours on its 13,000Mah battery...


RE: From 4 hours to 5 hours?
By protosv on 3/18/2007 7:02:56 PM , Rating: 2
My Pentium M 1.8Ghz Dell can hit over 12 hours with the screen contrast turned down and wireless shut off using dual batteries. Under normal usage (normal contrast, wireless on), I hit nearly 8 hours. Not too shabby....

from 4 to 5 hours?
By Souka on 3/18/2007 2:03:58 PM , Rating: 2
from 4 to now 5hours? Based on what?

Lets see some other laptop comarisons....using the SAME testing methodology and system setup....

Like... lets say... no cpu/gpu-throttling and running loops of 3d-mark until battery dies?

RE: from 4 to 5 hours?
By glennpratt on 3/18/2007 5:57:34 PM , Rating: 2
no cpu/gpu-throttling and running loops of 3d-mark until battery dies?

What the hell would be the point of that? Thats not a common usage pattern at all.

RE: from 4 to 5 hours?
By Souka on 3/18/2007 10:27:13 PM , Rating: 2
hard to compare one system to another if non-standard power saving schemes are used...

Need to have balanced approach of course... but just saying "our new thingamajig boosts battery life from 4 to 5 hours" seens kinda pointless.

RE: from 4 to 5 hours?
By lindejos on 3/19/2007 6:24:59 PM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure there is an industry standard on battery life benchmark.

It's called MobileMark (by Bapco of Future Mark) and it is a software suite designed specifically to test battery life in notebooks. Most of the Future Mark benchmarks are collaboratively architechted by industry leaders in their Benchmark Development Program.

Additionally, in my experience most advertised battery life specs are 20 to 30 percent bettery than any system can do on MobileMark.

who comes up with all those names ?
By armagedon on 3/17/2007 9:25:59 PM , Rating: 3
You've been following the story so far ? Here, i got a new scenario for Jack Bauer:

"Barcelona" and "Santa-Rosa" had an affair together. But "Kite" could note trust "Hawk" with this information because of his father, "Tyler". Meanwhile, "Brisbane" struck a deal with "Greyhound" so that "Sherman", which is a friend of "Trevally", is not to talk to "Griffin" about it. "Lion" didn't buy it and assassinate "Sable"...

By RU482 on 3/18/2007 12:35:49 AM , Rating: 3
the next chip should be named ROFLCOPTER

By middlehead on 3/17/2007 8:55:46 PM , Rating: 5
The Department of Redundancy Department called. They said you'd know what it was about.

Intel's Robson gets a real name: Turbo Memory
By crystal clear on 3/18/2007 5:14:37 AM , Rating: 1
"Intel's Robson gets a real name: Turbo Memory"

Hannover (Germany) - Intel revealed more news about its upcoming flash cache technology. Code-named "Robson", the add-in card is now officially called "Turbo Memory" and promises to accelerate application startups on notebooks.

By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 3/18/2007 5:17:36 AM , Rating: 1
I guess TGDaily reads DailyTech too:

By crystal clear on 3/18/2007 5:36:09 AM , Rating: 2
yes indeed-you are right on this.

As for TGDaily, a good site-but they lack the personal touch/attention that you give to DT.
Thats the difference-the plus point.

Cant believe you are still awake at this hour (5:17 AM)
I am 7hrs plus(time zone)

By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 3/18/2007 6:42:33 AM , Rating: 1
I don't sleep that much.

the correct naming
By Xajel on 3/18/2007 3:32:43 AM , Rating: 2
AFAIK, The inquirer has an insider talk with AMD insiders ( so it's a trusted source, thats why you're seeing it every where ) that code names are :

K8 : Athlon 64
K8L : Turion 64
K9 : Athlon 64 X2
K10 : Barcelona, Agena FX, Agena, Kuma, etc..

those are the names that AMD Insiders know and used for there products.

By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 3/18/2007 4:03:57 AM , Rating: 2
Turion 64 lauched before anyone had ever called it K8L. Henri Richard's interview detailing K8L in March 2006 is here:

Turion 64 launched March 2005. Turion 64 X2 launched May 2006, but he is obviously not refering to that processor:

That's not to say we're going to present K8L at Computex – don't get me wrong – but I think that that would be a good time to start to disclose more about the future because one of the strong attributes of our roadmap, both in 2006 and 2007, is socket compatibility. The nice thing we're going to do is to deliver to customers. Whatever improvements K8L will provide, they will be applicable to some of the sockets we will be introducing. Therefore, there's a certain logic, to my mind, in disclosing more at that time.

As for the other codenames: The "insider talk", by the way, was a repost from an interview on a French website. If you're interested in checking the interview out, you can view it here:

5 hour battery life?
By Bull Dog on 3/18/2007 6:16:09 AM , Rating: 2
I already get over 5 hours of battery life on my Dell Inspiron 1501 (AMD Turion X2 TL-56, 1.8GHz, 85Wh/hr Li-Ion battery)

RE: 5 hour battery life?
By lindejos on 3/19/2007 6:29:06 PM , Rating: 2
There is no way your 85 Watt-Hour pack is a standard 6 cell battery, which is the standard pack size.

Obviously if you give ground on Weight you can hit any amount of battery life (that is unless you hit the FAA limit for the amount of lithium allowed in a single pack).

By Johnmcl7 on 3/18/2007 3:24:47 PM , Rating: 2
I thought the Core Duos could do this, it was one of the reasons they managed to maintain similar power consumption compared to their pentium-m predecessors? I knew it was a problem on the AMD X2's but didn't think Intel had the same one, especially since the load seems to be allocated correctly (whereas on AMDs it remains the same on both cores regardless of whether both need to work).

Possibly missing something here.


By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 3/18/2007 5:25:31 PM , Rating: 1
The Core architecture can do this with c-states, not p-states.

By bbomb on 3/17/2007 8:26:13 PM , Rating: 2
Better than the 2 hours we get with our HP Turion notebook right now.

"It seems as though my state-funded math degree has failed me. Let the lashings commence." -- DailyTech Editor-in-Chief Kristopher Kubicki
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